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Laguna Craft Guild sets up on Cobblestones at Main Beach for show on Sunday

Although the location has changed over the years, on Sunday, Feb 9, the Laguna Craft Guild continues an over four-decade tradition of setting up their wares for the community. The artisan group will be displaying at the Cobblestones at Main Beach from 9 a.m. until sunset. 

The Laguna Craft Guild was started in the early 1970s as a way for local artists and craftsmen to sell their work. It is a non-juried show with two simple rules: you live in Laguna Beach and you make what you sell. Originally Forest Avenue was closed on Sundays, and the artists set up for the day a few times a year. Later the show was on Ocean some days and on Forest some days. 

The group’s current home is on the Cobblestones next to The Greeter’s Corner Restaurant on 14 Sundays a year. The artists must be present to show their work so this is a great opportunity for the public to meet the makers. 

Laguna Craft umbrellas

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Vendors set up on Main Beach Cobblestones from 9 a.m. until sunset on Sunday

A few of the many vendors represented are:

Oil painter Cliff Wassman (a graduate of The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) whose work garnered attention from Lucasfilm’s art licensee Acme Archives, which went on to publish his work for sale at Comic-Con and Star Wars events. Cliff has a studio and gallery in the Village. Sold and collected worldwide, his latest  theme is mixing time periods and blending the familiar with the fantastic in a whimsical mash-up of classical realism and contemporary culture. Cliff is on the Board of the Laguna Craft Guild and has also served on the Board of the Sawdust Festival.

Illustrator Laurel Meister (a graduate of Art Center College of Design) once did a mural at the home of Michelle Pfeiffer and has illustrated children’s books. Laurel sits on both the Laguna Craft Guild Board of Directors and The Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund, whose purpose is to bring art education to the underserved. Her current series is inspired by fortunes from fortune cookies. Next up she plans to combine iconic GenX symbols with iconic paintings. Laurel’s work is in collections worldwide. 

Laguna Craft glassware

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Beautiful vases for sale

Gold and silversmith David Nelson has been exhibiting in Laguna Beach since 1969. David has been an exhibitor at the Sawdust for 50 years, a member of the Laguna Craft Guild since 1972, and is a founding artists of the Sawdust Winter Fantasy. During the summer, David moves his entire shop to his Sawdust booth and can be found creating, sizing, designing, and customizing his jewelry late into every night. He has also exhibited in numerous art shows in Southern California for many years.

Glass Artist Muffin Spencer-Devlin, whose first career was as a professional golfer, studied glass blowing under longtime Laguna resident and artist John Barber. Muffin will incorporate ashes of loved ones into her glass vessels. 

Hodel McRae has been designing and creating jewelry for over 20 years. She hand makes every piece, which makes them unique and one of a kind. Hodel works with sterling silver, 14K gold-filled, and leather. She exhibits her work at the Laguna Craft Guild shows, the Sawdust Festival, in the Laguna Art Museum gift shop, and on her Etsy page. She sits on the Boards of the Laguna Craft Guild and The Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund.

Mark Sanderson is a photographer who has captured our beautiful coastline for over 30 years. His vibrant images are dazzling.

For more information on Laguna Craft Guild, go to www.lagunacraftguild.org.

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Rock for the Cause to benefit Friendship Shelter features local duo Ruby Haunt on Feb 12

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Rock for the Cause, which benefits Friendship Shelter, is always a great evening of fun, wonderful food, and amazing live music. This year’s event will be held at Mozambique on Wednesday, Feb 12 from 6 - 10 p.m., and tickets are now on sale.

Each ticket will include entry into the event, two hosted drinks, and appetizers. Additionally, Mozambique is generously donating 20 percent of all food and beverage sales back to Friendship Shelter. 

Rock for the Cause is a festive and raucous event to aid Friendship Shelter’s work ending homelessness in south Orange County. Stu News Laguna owner Shaena Stabler and local architect Marshall Ininns are co-hosting the event. The two are on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit together and have been co-hosting the event for almost a decade.

“I think this is the eighth year I have co-hosted with Marshall,” says Stabler. “Marshall asked Stu if we might want to get involved together. Stu told me ‘we’re doing it,’ and thus began my journey with Friendship Shelter. Stu had no idea of my first-hand experience with homelessness at the time.”

Asked what her connection to homelessness is, Stabler says, “I experienced homelessness – as a young child and in my early 20s. It’s something that impacted me personally. But it doesn’t define me anymore – I have a home, a community, and a very good life – in a way, it feels like an echo for me now.”

Rock for the Cause Shaena and Marshall

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Photo by Lisa Farber

(L-R) Marshall Ininns and Shaena Stabler at past Rock for the Cause event; together they have hosted almost a decade of events to benefit Friendship Shelter

Featured at the event will be Frank Turner Simes, who is a Grammy-nominated and platinum-record awarded musician, guitarist, songwriter, composer, and record producer. Simes is the musical director for Roger Daltrey, and has recorded and performed with Mick Jagger, Don Henley, and Stevie Nicks. As The Who and Roger Daltrey’s musical director and multi-instrumentalist, he has brought fresh elements to the sounds and arrangements for the world tours of Tommy, Quadrophenia, and The Who Hits 50!, as well as the 2012 Olympics performance. 

At this year’s Rock for the Cause, there will be an added musical bonus. Ruby Haunt – made up of two Laguna born and raised musicians, Wyatt Ininns and Victor Pakpour, will be performing in their hometown for the first time. They have joined the show to kick off the event before Frank Simes’ band.

Stabler is especially excited that Ruby Haunt is performing this year. “I have been listening to Ruby Haunt for five years; I was first exposed to them through Marshall (Wyatt’s father). I was immediately hooked to their music, they are so talented. Honestly, they could be future Grammy winners. I am just so excited to see where their path takes them and can’t wait to listen to them live on February 12th at Rock for the Cause.”

Marshall Ininns says, “I am very  proud of my son and his fast growing music career. I am even more proud of him for his willingness to give his time and talent to help resolve homelessness in southern Orange County.”

Rock for color duo

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Wyatt Ininns (on left) and Victor Pakpour

Ruby Haunt is an American musical project conceived by childhood friends Ininns and Pakpour sometime in 2015. The duo wrote their first three EPs while in school via opposite ends of the west coast (Los Angeles and Portland), exchanging musical ideas over email. During this time, they received support from Nowness, Henrik Purienne, Vogue Italia, and various taste-making YouTube channels for their unique songwriting and self-produced music videos.

They now have produced five albums: Sugar, 2016; Nevada, 2017; Blue Hour, 2018, Bully, 2019, and Middle of Nowhere, 2019.

The duo became close friends in middle school and found they were inspired by the same music. Ininns sings and writes lyrics, and Pakpour composes the songs and produces. 

Evidently, the match is working, as they have received rave reviews.

Their music has been depicted as alternative/indie, which by definition, means it doesn’t fit into any particular genre.

A review introducing Ruby Haunt on Musicallyproper.com in August of 2016 says, “Currently based in L.A., this duo is making some of the best minimal pop I’ve heard in a long time. Ruby Haunt takes after more of an aesthetic than a genre.”

Aesthetic is the perfect word. I agree, no matter the song – whether pop, a ballad, or one with a nostalgic melody – it’s all gorgeous and artful.

In a review in Honey Punch Magazine, Emma Watts says, “What I love so much about music is that the simplest of sounds put into an interesting pattern can affect your emotions and what you’re visualizing in your head. With these songs you can feel on top of the world, out of this world, or the smallest thing in the world.”

After listening to their song “Honey,” I would describe their sound as silky and smooth as honey. It’s liquid, and lush, and haunting at times. 

Rock for playing

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Ruby Haunt performing

A 2019 review of the their album Middle of Nowhere on janglepophub.home says, “This Los Angeles based two piece, consisting of Wyatt Ininns and Victor Pakpour, certainly know how to develop the aural soundscapes within their songs with ‘Cobwebs,’ ‘Answering Machine’ and the impeccable ‘Breather displaying a somewhat unnerving ability to attach a musical picture to an initial isolated jangle-gaze riff and then creating subtle and multiple layers of sound upon this foundation of beauty.”

I have no idea what a jangle-gaze riff is, but it sounds as if it’s a good thing.

Asked about their appearance at Rock for the Cause, Ininns says, We have always admired what the Friendship Shelter does, and we are super excited to be able to take part in such a great event. Victor and I both grew up in Laguna but this will be our first time playing a concert in town. We are thrilled to be able to join this year and get to play alongside some amazing musicians for a good cause.”

Pakpour agrees, “We are really humbled to be included in the cause. My band member Wyatt and I have lived in Laguna our whole lives and have seen first-hand the impact that homelessness has had on those individuals. We are happy to support this fundraiser and are excited to be playing for members of our hometown trying to make a difference.” 

Giving back 

Stabler says of her time homeless, “With that experience comes a responsibility to give back. I’ve definitely had angels along the way, people who have mentored me and lifted me up. I feel it’s my responsibility to ‘pay it forward’ and help others too.

“With Friendship Shelter, I am able to give back and support a nonprofit that is doing the work to end homelessness – which means literally getting people off the streets and into housing because then they are no longer ‘homeless’. From there, the services and ‘path up’ can happen. It all starts with housing – get a roof over your head, and then anything is possible. Without housing, without the stability of knowing that you have a place to rest your body and mind for the night, it’s almost impossible to do be the best version of yourself that you were meant to be.”

So come out and join the fun, enjoy the food and fantastic musical entertainment – and celebrate Ruby Haunt’s first time playing in Laguna – all for a good cause.

Tickets start at $75 and are available on Friendship Shelter’s website at www.friendshipshelter.org/events.

For more information on Friendship Shelter’s programs and services, visit www.friendshipshelter.org

Mozambique is located at 1740 South Coast Hwy.

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Artwalking radio show to feature interview with Dr. G on Feb 13

Artwalking on KX FM (now FM 104.7) will broadcast an inteview with Dr. Daniel Gary Busby (aka Dr. G) on Thursday, Feb 13 from 8 - 9 p.m. The show will be co-hosted by Leah Vasquez, artist/former Arts Commissioner, and Craig Cooley of Rainbow Radio

Artwalking programs feature talented guests who singularly or collectively enhance Laguna’s culture through visual and performance venues including actors, poets, architects, dancers, and musicians often showcasing hybrid or inter-disciplinary productions. 

Arwalking radio Dr. G

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Dr. G will be the featured guest on Artwalking radio show on Feb 13

Dr. Daniel Gary Busby (aka Dr. G) continued his family legacy from the famed Busby Berkeley, the great American motion picture director/choreographer of movie musicals, by becoming Chair of the UC Irvine Drama Department before retiring. 

Dr. G recently launched his newest ventures, DGB Studio of Singing, Wellness Studio, and Authenticity Training Center and Dr. G’s Philanthropies, developing projects for organizations such as the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. He is currently preparing for a theatrical debut in Alaska.

Podcasts are available on www.artwalking.art.

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Festival of Arts presents new foaSOUTH exhibit: Portraits from the Collection

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach is pleased to announce the newest off-site exhibit titled Portraits from the Collection, on display now through April 15. The exhibit is located at the foaSOUTH Gallery inside Active Culture.

Featuring a selection of portraits from the Festival of Arts’ Permanent Art Collection, Portraits from the Collection includes work from local artists including Kelly Akins, Scott Moore, Kathyrn Olsen, Pegah Samaie, Gregg Stone, and Thom Wadlow. 

Festival of double

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“Silke” by Gregg Stone (left) and photographs of Laguna Beach Greeter Eiler Larsen by Ronald A. Green (right)

A highlight of the exhibit is a series of photographs by Ronald A. Greene, a local doctor and avid photographer who took portraits of Laguna Beach Greeter Eiler Larsen in the late 1940s to early 1960s. 

These iconic images present some of the many theatrical characters that Eiler Larsen had portrayed. Since the late 1950s, this series of Ronald A. Greene’s photographs would greet visitors in the famed Cottage Restaurant waiting room. In 2012, the Cottage was sold and the entire suite of thirteen photographs were donated to the Festival of Arts by the former owners, John and Robbi Mazza.

Hours of display are on Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.

foaSOUTH Gallery is located within Active Culture at 1006 S Coast Hwy. 

For more information, call (949) 494-1145, or visit www.foapom.com.

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Community Art Project presents Insider Art exhibit

 CAP is honored and delighted to present Insider Art at The CAP Gallery, a juried exhibit of artwork by LOCA arts education teaching artists, board members, staff, students, and members. The show will be on display from February 8 through May 30 with an opening reception to be held on Saturday, Feb 8 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

On view will be original work in mediums of painting, collage, printmaking, found-object compositions, and three-dimensional wall art. Subjects range from still life, figurative, landscape, abstract, and architectural. One section of the exhibit will feature selected works created by residents of Glennwood House in LOCA’s ongoing classes.

Community Art superwoman

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E. Rose – “Superwoman” – 40x30 acrylic

LOCA Arts Education is Laguna Beach’s well-known nonprofit coalition of art educators, professional artists, and art advocates of art education for all ages. LOCA holds workshops at the Susi Q Community Center, Glennwood House, LCAD, and elsewhere, giving people the opportunity to experiment with a variety of mediums and self-expression.

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of art and serve as a catalyst for art education. Ongoing exhibitions can be enjoyed at The CAP Gallery, in the unique Rotunda Gallery space located on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Ave. 

Community Art Mada

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Mada Leach – “The Magic Hour” – Collage-Mixed Media

Visit www.caplaguna.org for information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits, to be added to LOCA’s email list, or to become a member and supporter of CAP. CAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by the member supporters, the Festival of Arts Foundation, the lodging establishments, and the City of Laguna Beach.

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Laguna Beach Live! presents Peter Erskine Trio on Wednesday, Feb 12

On Wednesday, Feb 12, Laguna Beach Live! kicks off its 2020 Jazz Winter Wednesdays series at [seven-degrees]. Joining Grammy-winning drummer Peter Erskine on stage will be pianist Alan Pasqua, who has played and recorded with the world’s best jazz musicians including Stanley Clark, and Michael and Randy Brecker. 

Laguna Beach Erskine

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Grammy-winning drummer Peter Erskine hits the stage on Feb 12 

His pop credits see him as member of the bands of Bob Dylan and Santana, and he has toured with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, and Queen Latifah. 

Also on stage will be bassist Darek Oles, one of the West Coast’s most sought-after bass players. Darek remains busy in studios, concerts, and jazz clubs, freelancing with jazz greats such as Billy Childs, Charles Lloyd, and Ravi Coltrane.

Jazz Wednesdays presents some of the hottest straight-ahead jazz musicians in the region. Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m.; doors open at 5 when a full bar and dinner, on a pre-sale basis, will be available. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, and can be purchased at www.lagunabeachlive.org

For more information, call (949) 715-9713. 

[seven-degrees] event facility is located at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd.

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No Square Theatre presents Songs for the Dumped

Who among us has not experienced a breakup as either the “dumper” or the “dumpee?” In a unique kind of Valentine’s concert, No Square Theatre takes a look at the funny side of what happens when love goes wrong.

Bring your baggage, your broken heart, or your BFF, and laugh along with the all-star cast: Bree Burgess Rosen, Eric T. Anderson, Macy Buckley, Annika Carlson, Eloise Coopersmith, Delaney Flanagan, Susan Geiser, Malin Glade, Kelly Goldstein, Gary Greene, Rob Harryman, Emma Hutchinson, Sara Loya, Zack Mallgrave, Marc Marger, Kristen Matson, Claire Day McClung, Jay Rechter, Steven Reiner, Danny Rios, Roxanna Ward, and Ella Wyatt.

No Square graphic

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Original artwork by Lila Goldstein, LBHS Freshman

Songs for the Dumped is directed by Bree Burgess Rosen, with music direction by Roxanna Ward, and with special thanks to Waste Management for the stage set. Songs will include many colorful surprises, along with a few old favorites. It is an adult show because, well, you might want to keep this from the kids. 

Humor and music are both therapeutic, and Songs for the Dumped is good for you. If you’re that rare person who’s never dumped or been dumped, congratulations. Just imagine how superior this concert will make you feel. 

Performances will be on Friday, Feb 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb 15 at 7:30 p.m. 

Tickets are $25 and $35, adults only, and can be purchased at www.nosquare.org

No Square Theatre is located at 384 Legion St.

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Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s Town & Country exhibition opens with reception

On Saturday, Jan 18, LPAPA in Residence located at Forest & Ocean Gallery hosted the opening reception for the Town & Country - Where the Cities Meet the Pastures juried art show.

Guests sipped wine and enjoyed nibbling on a beautiful array of artisan cheeses, fruits, and sweets as they anxiously awaited the announcement of the five award-winning artists. 

LPAPA’s ​Town & Country exhibition ​​is a special juried exhibition of original works of art created by Signature and Artist Members ​of the ​Laguna Plein Air Painters Association(LPAPA).​ 

225 entries were received for this prestigious show with jurors Anthony Salvo (Signature Member of LPAPA), Rosemary Swimm (LPAPA Executive Director), and Ludo Leideritz (owner of Forest & Ocean Gallery) choosing 39 original framed paintings created by LPAPA Signature and Artist Members for the show’s coveted spots. 

Laguna Plein poppies

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“Moving Through the Gate” Peoples’ Choice Award was given to LPAPA Signature Member Joe Anna Arnett for her painting “Poppies Forever”

In addition to the usual awards – 1st, 2nd, 3rd,and Honorable Mention – a Peoples’ Choice award was introduced through a LPAPA Facebook social media campaign where individuals were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite painting. 

LPAPA is pleased to share the award winners: 

--1st Place was awarded to LPAPA Artist Member Tom Brown for Until the Cows Come Home

--2nd Place was awarded to LPAPA Signature Member Debra Huse for Classic Oxford ll

--3rd Place was awarded to LPAPA Signature Member Lisa Mozzini-McDill for Signs of the Times

--Honorable Mention Award given to LPAPA Artist Member Nanette Biers for Moving Through the Gate

--Peoples’ Choice Award was given to LPAPA Signature Member Joe Anna Arnett for Poppies Forever

LPAPA was founded in 1996 with a mission to preserve Laguna Beach’s rich artistic legacy founded by early plein air artists and promote the tradition of plein air painting in our community, across the nation, and around the world. 

LPAPA is one of the best recognized and most respected plein air art associations in the world with a growing roster of more than 600 local, national, and international artist members. In addition to providing opportunities for established and emerging artists to show their work, LPAPA has a strong commitment to education utilizing its ​Plein Air Project​ to benefit young and emerging artists and the greater community. 

For more information on LPAPA, visit ​www.lpapa.org.

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Festival of Arts now accepting scholarship applications from Laguna seniors

The Festival of Arts is pleased to announce scholarship applications are now available online. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior who resides in Laguna Beach or attends Laguna Beach High School. 

Since 1957, the Festival of Arts scholarship program has supported rising young artists by making it possible for students to pursue college studies in the arts. The four-year, highly competitive scholarships are awarded to students who excel in Film, Performing Arts (dance, music, and theatre arts – including performance and production), Visual Arts, and Writing. A student may apply for any or all of the four categories but will only be awarded one scholarship.

Auditions and interviews will be scheduled in March and April 2020. Scholarship awards begin at a minimum of $1,000 and can be renewed for a total of four one-year scholarships. Students must reapply each summer for a continuation of scholarship status.

Festival of graduates

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FOA Board President David Perry and Board Secretary and Scholarship Chair Pat Kollenda (center) with the 2019 FOA Performing Arts Scholarship recipients

Students with talents in multiple fields are encouraged to submit an application in more than one category,” said Festival of Arts Board Secretary and Scholarship Chair Pat Kollenda. She continued, “This is an excellent opportunity for students who are considering a career in the arts.”

Many scholarship recipients have gone on to have successful careers in the arts. Fashion Designer Seena Shahmardi received a Festival of Arts scholarship in 2011 and has since worked in fashion houses in London and New York before establishing his own studio. “[The Scholarship committee] gave me the confidence that there’s a world out there that appreciate this kind of work,” said Shahmardi.

Last year, the Festival of Arts awarded over $25,000 to graduating seniors for the 2019-2020 academic year. In addition to Scholarship Committee Chair Pat Kollenda, committee members include Wayne Baglin, John Connolly, Marge Earl, Jacquie Moffett, and Jeff Rovner.

For general scholarship information call Michelle Reindl at (949) 464-4201 or visit www.lagunafestivalofarts.org.

 The Festival of Arts is a nonprofit organization that produces the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters. Its mission is to support the arts and art education in and about Laguna Beach.

Students must apply through the Festival’s website at www.foapom.com/scholarships before the March 6, 2020 deadline.

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LCAD art professor to exhibit her work

Figurative painter Hilary McCarthy of Laguna Beach is currently adjunct faculty in the Fine Arts Department at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD). Several of her works will be on display Saturday, Feb 1 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the B Minus Studios in Santa Ana. Her show is entitled The Light of the Sea, New Paintings by Hilary McCarthy.

McCarthy says making art is an escape from the “uncomfortableness” of life. Behind the easel she feels safe and protected, and not subject to life’s many ups and downs. 

LCAD art ocean

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LCAD professor Hilary McCarthy’s art will be on display on Saturday at B Minus Studios in Santa Ana

“As a subject in my art, the ocean is timeless and seemingly endless. It existed before we did. We do not own it. If anything, it owns us,” she says.

“The ocean helps me see life in terms of unlimited possibilities. Because it lets me reach a place of freedom, its unpredictability is also a metaphor for life. Sometimes it is turbulent and other times tranquil,” McCarthy notes.

“The women I paint in the foreground deal with the messy complexities of the human condition. In the background, the ocean forms a vast backdrop. The narrative of each painting tests these two interfaces,” the LCAD art professor says.

LCAD art water

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McCarthy draws inspiration from the ocean in her art

“Sometimes the women want to leave the physical world. Other times, they simply are floating in water, riding the waves. The women I paint live in the present, are weightless and at peace with themselves and the world,” McCarthy concludes.

A New Yorker for 18 years, McCarthy moved to Laguna last year. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries in the United States and Europe. She has studied at Harford Art School, The Art Student’s League, New York Academy of Art, and Columbia University. She also has attended art residencies in Puglia, Italy; Victoria, Australia; Leipzig, Germany; and, Johnston, Vermont.

For more information about Hilary McCarthy, visit her website at www.hilarymccarthyart.com.

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